Soil fertility management for improved wheat production in Uganda


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By Chemayek B, Wasukira A, Wobibi S, and Wagoire W.W*
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Soil fertility management for improved wheat production in Uganda

  1. 1. Soil fertility management for improved wheat production in Uganda Chemayek B, Wasukira A, Wobibi S, and Wagoire W.WIntroduction: In Uganda, wheat is produced by smallholder farmers on the slopes of Mt. Elgon (East) and the south-westhighlands at altitudes between 1800 -2400masl. These areas have steep slopes that are prone to erosion, contributing to a loss infertility and occasional landslides. Wheat production in these areas is curtailed by low soil fertility due to intensive cropping, anduse of poor quality seed of old varieties. Farmers achieve yields of 0.5t/ha but there are potential yields of 2.5t/ha. In Kapchorwaand Kween, less than 30% of farmers use fertilizer for wheat production, and this decreases to less than 5% in the south-westhighlands. This study carried out soil fertility studies in eastern Uganda from August 2010 to Aug 2012 at 4 sites, to determine themost effective fertilizer rates for wheat production.Objectives: (i) Determine appropriate fertilizer application rates for wheat; (ii) Assess how different farmer wheat varietiesperform under different fertilizer levels; (iii) Promote use of fertilizers and improved seed at farm levelMethodology: Study was conducted in four sites of Kapchorwa, Kween, Bukwo and Bulambuli from Aug 2010 to Aug 2012 forthree seasons. Five genotypes; Fahari, Kwale, Nkugu, UW 309 and UW 400 were evaluated under four fertilizer levels (90Kg ha-1N and 80Kg ha-1 P Kg/ha; 60Kg ha-1 N and 50Kg ha-1 P; 30Kg ha-1 N and 20Kg ha-1 P Kg/ha and no fertilizer at all as a check) in asplit plot design. The main plots were fertilizer treatments while the genotypes constituted the subplots that were of 4 rows of 5m length and inter-row spacing of 0.3 m. Data on establishment, number of tillers, disease incidence and severity, plantheight, lodging, head length and yield (Kg) was collected and analyzed using SAS. Results and DiscussionSource df Mean Squares Establish Tillers Plt Height Head length Agro Score Stem Rust YieldSite 3 6.43*** 51.65*** 2882.56*** 54.20*** 23.31** 856*** 5.89***Treatment (Trt) 3 5.89*** 7.19*** 2742.16*** 14.57*** 76.93*** 44.36 3.06*Variety (Var) 7 7.89*** 0.68 364.64** 11.44*** 8.76 353.38*** 4.12***Rep 2 0.9 1.72 725.21** 1.31 24.19* 685.12*** 2.8Site*Trt 9 6.56*** 3.93*** 531.95*** 3.99*** 21.64*** 39.81 1.65Site*Var 12 2.92*** 1.42* 654.87*** 10.67*** 10.32* 828.12*** 2.66**Trt*Var 15 0.717081 1.07 105.3556 0.88 15.09*** 49.71 0.62Site*Trt*Var 36 0.530627 0.85 68.37347 1.08 11.92*** 52.32* 0.34 *Value significant at P≤0.05; **Value significant at P≤0.01;***Value significant at P≤0.001Results indicated highly significant difference Nkungu the local genotype performed poorly underbetween site and all measured parameters. all treatments compared to improved genotypes. ThisConsiderable significant differences were also reflects genotypic differences in adaptation torecorded between treatments and measured different fertilizer levels. The results indicated highparameters. The observed highly significant responsiveness of improved genotypes to nutrientdifferences is because the soils in these sites are applications implying that theses genotypes have hadhighly nutrient deficient and so any soil nutrient a lot of good traits incorporated in them among whichamendments results in increased yields. is improved response to nutrient applications. The lack of positive response to fertilizer by Nkungu was because of beingThere were significant differences among very tall and with weak stems that led to early lodging in plots with fertilizergenotypes for all parameters Fahari yielding leading to low yields due to inadequate grain filling. Analysis of variancehigher (1.84 t/ha) and UW369 (1.62t/ha) at 90N indicated considerable significant interaction between site and treatmentsKg/ha while Kwale (1.96t/ha) and UW400 for all parameters. Further more significant interactions were in site and(2.0t/ha) gave higher yield at 60N Kg/ha. variety Yield of five wheat genotypes at different Conclusion: Fertilizer application increased yields in improved genotypes 2.50 fertilizer levels than the local cultivar. Genotypes responded differently to fertilizer levels with Kwale and UW400 giving better yields at 60N Kg/ha. These results 2.00 indicate the potential for improving wheat productivity through application 30N of appropriate amounts of fertilizer and use of elite varieties, in order to Yield (t/ha) 1.50 improve the livelihoods of wheat farmers. 1.00 60N References 0.50 90N William Wamala Wagoire (2006). Quantification of the value of improved wheat production options in South-western Uganda. Uganda Journal of 0.00 Agricultural Sciences, 12(1): 22-28 Taye Belachew & Yifru Abera (2010). Assessment of Soil Fertility Status with Depth in Wheat Growing Highlands of Southeast Ethiopia. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 6 (5): 525-531 Genotypes